Details: Carven’s head designer Guillaume Henry
Ph: Benoit Florencon
There’s more to Paris…
When most people think of fashion, they immediately associate it with glamorous shows, gorgeous models, outrageous creations walking down the runway and all the commotion that surrounds one of the oldest and most reputed industries in the world. The so called fashion capitals assume a most envied top position in consumers’ minds, drawing people from all over the world to visit unique shopping districts and flagship stores from renowned designers.
However, sometime in recent years and undoubtedly the result of an increasingly globalized industry, where people have unlimited access to information and product is made available worldwide, the search for uniqueness and differentiation has been growing steadily. What’s interesting about this movement, is that some of the best new brands are growing right at the core of those fashion driven cities…
Take Paris for instance…on the aftermath of yet another highly acclaimed fashion week, I thought the timing was right to express my love for an alternative Parisienne scene, home to some of the most outstanding projects I’ve seen in a long time. Whereas some have been around for a while, gaining momentum and establishing solid roots, others are taking the first steps into what I hope will be a promising future.
Run by brothers Swann and Loic Joachim, this has become a personal favourite when it comes to menswear, personal style and inspiration. There’s somewhat of a characteristic négligé trademark to Parisienne style they seamlessly embody and upgrade in each attire. Simply put, I find their style to be a paramount example of how suiting can be elevated to new standards, incorporating an urban, cosmopolitan feel and breaking with traditional concepts: paired with fitted tees or casual button downs and subtle accessories, they’re always able to look sharply on point without being stiff or overdressed.
One of the most successful examples coming out of the French capital, BWGH has been steadily growing from one season to the next. Beginning with an outstanding use of trademark graphic sweaters, the brand has since evolved to incorporate a comprehensive array of garments… From then, other ventures followed, as well as global praise and collaborations with giants such as Colette, Opening Cerimony, Kitsuné and the likes. Definitely one to keep under the radar.
Founded by Alexandre Mattiussi, Ami is probably the most renowned and mainstream label within this selection. A perfect example of timeless, quality menswear with a fresh take and an affordable (say, fair) price point. Chances are you already fell for one of their outstanding suits, jackets or topcoats, perfectly tailored and featuring beautiful, high quality fabrics. A well balanced label that’s sure to keep on delivering menswear essentials suitable to any wardrobe.
Inspired by Paris “red light district”, Stephane Ashpool created a label which transpires personality and the neighborhood’s ever-changing momentum. Cutting-edge and ground breaking in its own way, the collections translate multicultural influences ranging from hip-hop to basketball and streetwear, heavily marked by the designer’s experience growing up in the homonymous Parisienne hood.
Formerly known as Hixsept, the brand created by French duo Aurélien Arbet and Jérémie Egry reflects their rich background in arts and design, by combining elements of re-interpreted minimalism with color blocking and interesting use of fabric combinations. Aiming at reinventing themselves in each collection, they consistently present colorful, vibrant and refreshing items every season, combining great fit and design with some of the best lookbooks out there.
Store Highlight: FrenchTrotters, Paris
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit Première Vision in Paris and besides browsing through an endless array of amazing fabrics, I still had some time to cruise the Parisien streets in search of outstanding stores. One of the first I had the opportunity to visit was FrenchTrotters…
With an eclectic selection of hyped brands including Our Legacy, Woolrich, Levi’s M&C, Barena, Opening Cerimony, Band of Outsiders, Makr and their homonymous label, it’s a treat for every menswear enthusiast out there. The two-storey space is beautifully decorated with light shaded wood and plants, giving it a warm, cosy feeling setting the mood for your shopping spree. As for me, I couldn’t leave without a superb burgundy velvet fedora (more on that on a future post)…
Some Parisien inspiration from Pigalle AW12
Shot by Grind Magazine